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What, really, is the Obama-Clinton game plan for Israel/Palestine?

On the face of it the package of “incentives” Secretary of State Clinton offered Prime Minister Netanyahu to persuade him to buy and sell to his coalition government a one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank could be summed up with one “c” word – criminal.

Criminal because by excluding occupied Arab East Jerusalem from the desired freeze, the Obama administration is not only going back on its own previous demands which were in accord with international law and various UN Security Council resolutions. It is effectively endorsing Israel’s illegal settlement activities there. Simply stated the U.S. is now openly complicit in Israel’s defiance of international law.

It doesn’t matter that Netanyahu may have said to Hillary Clinton in their seven or eight-hour conversation something like:

“There’s no point in you asking for a freeze in Jerusalem. I couldn’t deliver it even if I wanted to, and I don’t.”

What any Israeli prime minister can or cannot deliver because of the pathological mindset of most Israelis is not the point. It is that if peace is to have a last chance, the Zionist (not Jewish) state must be obliged to comply with international law (not to mention a host of UN Security Council resolutions).

In my analysis there are three possible readings of the Obama-Clinton game plan.

  • One is that terrified of offending the Zionist lobby too much, they are desperate and hoping that if they can develop a little momentum, something positive might happen.
  • Another is that Obama believes that, with the assistance of the Arab regimes, he will be able to bribe and bully Abbas and his quisling Palestinian Authority into accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table if negotiations can be re-started. (If the PA agrees to re-start talks with Israel while it goes on colonizing Arab East Jerusalem, Obama will imagine that he has a chance of earning his Nobel peace prize. He would, of course, be wrong – I really mean deluded – to think that).

It is interesting to note that there are Israeli leaders who believe that a way must be found to “force” the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. One who has said so openly is Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He said on Army Radio that Israel has two options. “Either we reach understandings with the Americans to find a way to force the Palestinians to sit around the negotiating table, or the Palestinians and the Arab world will reach understanding with the Americans and it will be us eating frogs.” (Whatever that means).

  • A third possibility – my speculation here will convince many that I have taken leave of my senses  – is that Obama might have an ace up his sleeve.

Via Secretary of State Clinton, Obama told Netanyahu that if he put in place a 90-day moratorium on construction on the West Bank, he (Obama) will guarantee to continue the American presidential tradition of vetoing UN Security Council resolutions which are not to Israel’s liking. That would mean, among other things, blocking any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood on the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and preventing Israel from being called to account for war crimes.

Probably Hillary Clinton did not say so to Netanyahu, but one possible implication of the American incentives package is that if Netanyahu fails to deliver a 90-day moratorium, or does and is still only playing games, the U.S. will NOT block a Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood, and will NOT obstruct efforts to call and hold Israel to account for war crimes.

As regular readers of my contributions to informed and honest debate know, I do not believe Obama entered the White House programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. I think, as I have written, that he was naïve and inexperienced.

The question for the coming days is whether Obama has the will and courage to play his ace card if Netanyahu continues to humiliate him and demonstrate, with or without a 90-day moratorium, that he and virtually all of his leadership colleagues are not interested in peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.  His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition.  He blogs on www.alanhart.net and tweets on www.twitter.com/alanauthor.

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6 Comments

  1. Earlaiman on the 16. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    BACK TO THE PEACE TABLE

    I suspect Alan Hart credits Obama with more moral gravity than he has, and more poker sense than he has so far exhibited!

    Meanwhile, back here on Earth, while it is obvious that Israel must find a way to lure or “force” Palestine back to the “Peace Table” before the PA self-destructs or drifts off on its own thin but hot air, and there is no longer any so-called “legitimate Palestinian authority” which they will find acceptable to accept their “peace terms” (certainly not the only legally accepted representatives of the Palestinian people,Hamas), it has also become quite obvious that “Peace Table” in Hebrew actually means “Surrender Table.”

    Earlaiman

  2. Rexw on the 16. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    “As regular readers of my contributions to informed and honest debate know”, (yes I am one of those) “I do not believe Obama entered the White House programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. I think, as I have written, that he was naïve and inexperienced”.

    Well that’s where Alan and I drift apart. But I have said it all before that Obama was and is still an Israeli stooge; that he will be replaced in two years time and retire, well-heeled with Israeli shekels in Hawaii in 2012 or early 2013, happy, contented and having survived an assassination by the Mossad or the ‘new’ right wing Republicans. They don’t even need to send him a threatening email. He is a lame-duck, neutered in every way by his own choice.

    Perhaps Alan could expand on his comment that “Obama might have an ace up his sleeve”.

    I do not have the envious background of someone like Alan Hart. I wish I did. But if Alan can make a credible response to a question such as ‘what ace could he possible play’ then I would be grateful, as I am also confident that many other readers of these fine columns would be grateful as well.

    Obama is a disgraced non-entity. He is administratively inactive, weak and is best represented as a hot air balloon full of rhetoric of little or no substance. He now has two years ahead of him, not to fight for new progressive legislation for the good of the country, but instead to continue down his path of doing nothing, this time being able to blame the new Congress for his lack of success. What a perfect scenario for a weak man, biding his time for early retirement.

    Tell me I am wrong. I want to be wrong.

    Has he just approved a bribery deal, a gift for his masters worth three billion US dollars for an action to stop further building on the West Bank; action to also bring to an end in the UN discussion on the Goldstone Report; also to hide from the IAEA the state of Israel and its nuclear capability.

    If that was the ace up his sleeve, it must have been the Ace of Spades, of absolutely no value to anyone but the Zionists.

    A three billion dollar Ace of Spades. What a generous man he is with US taxpayer’s money. How does that make him look at the UN? How does that make the UN look to the rest of the world, to be used as a bargaining chip for Israel.

    What have we become?

  3. Dawoodi Morkas on the 16. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    There is inbuilt lava of resentment for the people who are cheating on the vast majority of the Americans. This resentment is deluding and dissolving the American patriotism towards America by the people. The people of America are getting frustrated with the Nationalist concept. The people are increasingly being felt cheated. The isolation of the vast majority of Americans with increasing individual debts and a society which is divided on lines of poverty never seen before in the history of America is wasting the resources of the greatness of America which lies in the wealth of the people that make America great.

    The looters have not made America. The people have.

    If American people loose their patriotism towards America, America will loose itself and there will be a very big gap felt, just like the vacuum felt when USSR dissolved.

    The media controlled by the Jews have made the Americans addicted to the protection of Jews State of Israel, which is consuming bulk of its economic resources, it is a luxury America cannot afford and has to give up, for its own survival.

  4. Debbie on the 16. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    @ Rex above.
    “Tell me I am wrong. I want to be wrong.
    Has he just approved a bribery deal, a gift for his masters worth three billion US dollars for an action to stop further building on the West Bank; action to also bring to an end in the UN discussion on the Goldstone Report; also to hide from the IAEA the state of Israel and its nuclear capability.
    If that was the ace up his sleeve, it must have been the Ace of Spades, of absolutely no value to anyone but the Zionists.
    A three billion dollar Ace of Spades. What a generous man he is with US taxpayer’s money. How does that make him look at the UN? How does that make the UN look to the rest of the world, to be used as a bargaining chip for Israel.
    What have we become?”
    ===

    Bingo!

    Yes! I think Obama gave up early in the game, as veteran journalist Helen Thomas, who has worked with 10 US Presidents during her tenure, observes in her interview with Paul Jay @ the Real News network.

    Helen Thomas on her one question for Obama – The Real News Network
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4900

    All Obama would have had to do is exercised the power of a US President.
    All he had to do was walk into the following press conference, look over at that empty seat and ask. “Where’s Helen?” then, turn and walk out again. She would have been there the next time he came to a press conference.

    A gentleman would have done it. It says a lot about him that he didn’t!
    He surely is not innocent. And, yes, if he lives long bought, he will retire a rich man in 2013.

  5. G Street on the 17. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    I agree that Obama was not a committed zionist, but rather a pliable choice – as unqualified for the office as the previous puppet. Given that, I find it hard to believe he has an ace up his sleeve.

    I appreciate the distinction you make between Jews and zionists. I don’t like stereotyping and collective blame and punishments. Are all Jews zionists? No. Are all zionist Jews? No. HOWEVER, the ability of Israel to take over all levers of power here in the US has happened with the consent of American Jews. They provided the money and political cover, and if they truly see the danger to our nation as people here do, American Jews could go a long way very quickly to withdrawing that cover. For the most part, they appear to prefer their specialness over solidarity.

    I think Obama has told Netanyahu that the US cannot do war with Iran right now. Israel is saying we must so, Israel is going to start it for us. Just as we shipped the weapons for Israel to wage war on Lebanon, we are putting the stockpile in place for Israel to start the war that we will be expected to finish – even as it finishes off the US. I can think of no logical reason why this purchase of a 90-day moratorium makes sense. I think it is part of the cover of the build-up of arms over there.

    This must be stopped because this is the only chance we have. Once the false flag is flown and the war starts, our lives will be spent for the war effort and our nation condemned to that above any domestic concern. A special friend, any kind of friend would not do this to us. Israel represents the story of the snake, biting when our usefulness is done.

  6. Rehmat on the 17. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Helen Thomas speaks her mind, again!

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/helen-thomas-speaks-her-mind-again/

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